Srinagar – the lost glory
What we see today is exactly the opposite of what we had experienced yesterday
DEGRADATION BY AZHAR AFTAB
Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir State is famous for its beauty and attractive landscapes. The city is flanked by beautiful and world known lakes like Dal and Nageen with the presence of houseboats, shikaras in these lakes adding to its beauty. The Wyeth - River Jehlum too forms an important tourist attraction. The incredible and picturesque scenic beauty, freezing temperatures, wonderful shikaras and houseboats – all this makes Srinagar a true paradise. The Srinagar is a Sanskrit word meaning “a city of wealth” Sri (abundance and Wealth) and Nagar (city). The “city of wealth” has, however, been whipped off by the successive regimes over the years and it has lost its charm. The city which used to be a beautiful tourist destination has lost the glory.
Although the whole city is ignored for development since long, the worst hit, however, is the old city popularly known as Shahr-e-Khass with almost all the roads in shambles, heaps of garbage all around, crowd of dogs everywhere, traffic mess, and choked drains. As we all know most of the historical places and monuments fall in this party of Srinagar city. These places include the shrines of famous saints like Shahi Hamdan (RA), Makhdoom Sahib (RA), Dastageer Sahib (RA), Naqshband Sahib (RA) and the histrorical places like Jamia Masjid, Mulla Akhoon Shah Masjid, Nagar Nagar (Kohi-Maran area) surrounded by a historical wall (Kalai), the Maharaj Gunj, Tomb of Bud Shah, the worship places for Hindus and Sikhs like Hariparbat Mandir, Gurduwara Chatti Padshahi, Shiv temple at Jogi Lanker and temples in Habba Kadal area etc. This part of the city has been neglected in all respects. Wherever you go, you will find major roads, interior roads in dilapidated conditions. I don’t think these roads have been developed or upgraded since they were laid out. Taking the example of famous road – Nalla mar – stretching from Khanyar to Cement Kadal Bridge, this is a two tube road, but right from its birth, only one tube is functional, reasons no development or up gradation from its existence. It may be because the stretch from Khanyar to Cement Kadal has witnessed the militancy, kani jung (stone pelting), anti government processions over the years and the successive governments didn’t think it appropriate to develop the famous Nallamar Road as the people living in this area, in the eyes of successive regimes, are antinational and anti government. The dilapidated condition of this road often lead to traffic mess, accidents etc. It would be a dream come true, if this road is made fully functional. Similar is the condition of other roads.
Road networking projects that have started much earlier in papers don’t find their way out to the completion to reality like 90 feet road from Soura to Alesteng, eight lane road from Parimpora byepass to Narbal, Ali Jan Road from Seki Darfar to Soura. The Hyderpora flyover, Chanpora Bridge, Nowgam Bridge which are meant for the convenience of the common masses are still incomplete and nobody knows when these will finally be find their shape. The proposed flyover from Jehangir Chowk to Ram Bagh Bridge and Lal Chowk to Dalgate remains proposed only.
The neglect, ignorance, malfunctioning of the successive regimes have made the Srinagar city a dwelling hell where the legend of the paradise lost its meaning and the paradise got shifted to the deserts of the earth with the prompt action of the selfless ruling regimes. I saw Jammu for the first time in 1984 and it looked to be a small town with a meagre development but after having it seen some two months back, I was astonished to see how this part of the Jammu and Kashmir has developed so rapidly. It is a question that remains unanswered. How politicians manage to divert the funds meant for development of Srinagar city to Jammu (GK dated 25th March, 2011 and 2nd April, 2011). It has been happening since long as the Jammu city has developed into a metropolitan city with the major chunk of allocation invested in the infrastructure development of that city. Similarly, Ladakh-another part of the State was a secluded piece of the State that was visited either by a passionate lover of the nature or an explorer. But the story has changed, now it is a tourist destination especially for the foreigners who once used to visit Srinagar only.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST
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